Takayama, K., Shimoda, N., Takanaga, S., Hozumi, S., and Kikuchi, Y. (2014) Expression patterns of dnmt3aa, dnmt3ab, and dnmt4 during development and fin regeneration in zebrafish. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 14(2):105-110.
Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and chromatin modifications are critical for regulation of spatiotemporal gene expression during development. In mammals, the de novo-type DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts), Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b, are responsible for the creation of DNA methylation patterns during development. In addition to developmental processes, we recently showed that DNA methylation levels are dynamically changed during zebrafish fin regeneration, suggesting that the de novo-type Dnmts might play roles in the regulation of gene expression during regeneration processes. Here, we showed the detailed expression profiles of three zebrafish dnmt genes (dnmt3aa, dnmt3ab, and dnmt4), which were identified as the orthologues of mammalian dnmt3a and dnmt3b, during embryonic and larval development, as well as fin regeneration processes. dnmt3aa and dnmt3ab are expressed in the brain, pharyngeal arches, pectoral fin buds, intestine, and swim bladder; the specific expression of dnmt3aa is observed in the pronephric duct during larval development. dnmt4 expression is observed in the zona limitans intrathalamica, midbrain–hindbrain boundary, ciliary marginal zone, pharyngeal arches, auditory capsule, pectoral fin buds, intestine, pancreas, liver, and hematopoietic cells in the aorta–gonad–mesonephros and caudal hematopoietic tissue from 48 to 72 h post-fertilization. Furthermore, during fin regeneration, strong dnmt3aa expression, and faint dnmt3ab and dnmt4 expression are detected in blastema cells at 72 h post-amputation. Taken together, our results suggest that zebrafish Dnmt3aa, Dnmt3ab, and Dnmt4 may play roles in the formation of various organs, such as the brain, kidney, digestive organs, and/or hematopoietic cells, as well as in the differentiation of blastema cells.